03.03.2009 15:08

The World Bank issued the following statement on the exchange rate
policy in Armenia today:

"The World Bank fully supports the return to a flexible exchange rate
regime announced by the Central Bank of Armenia and the accompanying
policy measures to support this transition. The adjustment of
the exchange rate is necessary in order to strengthen Armenia's
competitiveness and mitigate the impact of the negative external
shocks that the economy is facing in a difficult international
economic environment.

A flexible exchange rate regime is a key building block of the
comprehensive economic policy program put in place by the Armenian
authorities to cope with the impact of the global economic crisis. The
adjustment of the exchange rate will help Armenian companies to
compete more successfully in global and domestic markets and will
pave the way for high and sustained growth.

Armenia is facing the global economic crisis with strong defense
lines, thanks to prudent macroeconomic management, a low level
of public debt, and a sound banking system. The World Bank Group
will continue supporting Armenia through the 2009-12 partnership
strategy, with a scaled up lending program of US$ 525 million from
the International Development Association (IDA) and the International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).

The International Finance =0 D Corporation (IFC) stands ready
to significantly increase its commitments to Armenian banks and

The Armenian authorities' commitment to maintaining a sound
macroeconomic framework and an open market regime have brought
impressive economic results in the past and we look forward to
supporting Armenia's reform efforts in the future."